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Indian Butter Chicken

This Indian Butter Chicken (that we made last night) was fantastic, surprisingly easy, and pretty economical too.

Geoff has always been crazy about any kind of Indian food. When we were dating and first married, I was pretty nervous to try any of it, but I’ve gradually learned to like it. One thing I don’t like, though, is that we always have to get a babysitter and pay $30 for the pleasure of eating naan and samosas and chicken tikka masala. We’ve found some frozen entrees that are actually pretty good, but we’ve always been on the lookout for recipes to make at home. This Indian Butter Chicken (that we made last night) was fantastic, surprisingly easy, and pretty economical too. The most expensive part was buying all the spices, but I’m sure they will last a long time, through many an Indian-inspired dinner. It tasted as good as anything we get at Bombay House, and I didn’t even have to take off my yoga pants and put on real pants.

I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, except that I used chicken thighs instead of breasts because that was all I had. And I left out the cilantro, because it’s disgusting. Geoff cooked some naan we bought at Sunflower Farmer’s Market in butter and garlic, and it was delicious. It was fun, too, to eat all together around the table with the girls. If we can find a great recipe for Chicken Coconut Kurma, we’ll be set for life.

Indian Butter Chicken

Print Recipe


  • 1 medium yellow onion peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 jalapeño seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 can 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 pounds about 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Hot cooked rice for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for extra garnish


  • In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, ginger and jalapeno. Stir often while cooking until the onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander. Cook stirring, constantly for another minute.
  • Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and add tomato paste and chicken broth. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and add the half and half. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and add the chicken pieces and the salt and pepper. Stir. Keep the sauce at a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has slightly thickened.
  • Cut remaining 3 tablespoons butter into chunks and stir into the sauce until melted. Serve the chicken and sauce over hot rice. Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro, if desired.

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One Comment

  1. Hi, Alicia. I had emailed you over the weekend regarding not being able to comment. In the meantime, I set up a Google account so I could use that for your blog as well as some others, but I will try open ID again. I'm stuck answering phones at work this afternoon so I'm back to checking out your blog. I'm reading the recipe for Indian Butter Chicken and you write that "cilantro is disgusting". That just cracked me up because I, too, think cilantro is disgusting! I will be a regular follower for sure!

    PS Just tried to post this with Open ID and received the same message- "Your OpenID credentials could not be verified."

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